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Koreans top investors in Subic

Tuesday, September 30, 2008 [ manilatimes.net]
Many are either suppliers of Hanjin, and some are property developers
By Anthony Bayarong Correspondent
SUBIC BAY Freeport: Korean companies have now topped the list of investors in this Freeport for having pledged some $198.8 million in the first eight months of this year.
Subic Bay Metropolitan Authority (SBMA) Administrator Armand Arreza said the influx of Korean investors came after a $1.6-billion investment of shipbuilder Hanjin Heavy Industires Corp.-Philippines in 2006.
“Most of these Korean companies are either suppliers or subcontractors of Hanjin, and some are property developers that also target the growing Korean community not only in Subic, but in other parts of the country,” Arreza revealed.
“Subic’s biggest new investor so far this year, the Subic Neocove Corp., is also a Korean company which intends to develop a resort to cater mostly to Korean expatriates,” he added.
“Of course, Subic has a good mix of nationalities who have been part of the local business community since the free port was established in 1992,” Arreza said.
Coming second are Filipino investors 67 projects worth $10 million, followed by Taiwanese firms with three projects worth $2.9 million, and Malaysians, with another three proposals amounting to $2 million.

Among the nationalities that have new investments in Subic this year are the Taiwanese, Japanese, American, Malaysian, Pakistan, Norwegian, Australian, British, Singaporean and Canadian.
In the same period, the SBMA had approved a total of 130 projects, with projected employment totaling some 5,177. These increased the number of approved projects in the Subic Bay Freeport to 1,103, with committed investments totaling $5.73 billion.
Arreza said that for the past three years, Korean firms have topped other nationalities in terms of new investment projects.
In 2006, Korean companies put up a total of $1.36 billion, followed by Filipinos with $57 million, and Taiwanese with $9.8 million.

Last year, Koreans were again ranked number one with $993-million worth of investments, followed by Filipinos with $355 million, and Taiwanese with $222 million.
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